Els Named European Player of the Year

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European TourLONDON -- Ernie Els was named the 2003 Asprey Golfer of the Year for the second straight season as the top player on the European Tour.
 
After winning back-to-back events on the PGA Tour, Els shifted back to the European Tour and quickly picked up a pair of victories. He won the Heineken Classic, then claimed the Johnnie Walker Classic in dominating fashion. He finished the event at 29 under par, which established a new European Tour record for lowest score in relation to par.
 
Els later picked up victories at the Barclays Scottish Open and the Omega European Masters. The South African earned his final win of the season at the HSBC World Match Play Champ, where he downed Thomas Bjorn, 4 and 3, in the final.
 
'It is a wonderful honor to be named Asprey Golfer of the Year for the second successive season,' Els said. 'Although I didn't emulate my major championship success of 2002, I was delighted to win seven times on three different continents and to follow my good friend, Retief Goosen, as the Volvo Order of Merit winner. It is a great thrill to be European Number One for the first time.'
 
Els' win at the World Match Play equaled the record of five wins held by Seve Ballesteros and Gary Player.